2016 will certainly go down in our school's history, as a fairly eventful year.
This year has been one of change and improvement for us. Early on in the year we received a two day full inspection from Ofsted, the result of which was that we are deemed to be worthy of an outstanding categorisation. Everyone was suitably thrilled and we believe that our achievements and hard work have been justly recognised.
Within days, the packing was completed allowing us to make our long awaited move to our new purpose-built premises. Instantly gone were the long years of cramped, damp conditions, having to hire the Village Hall in order to stage almost any event, the limitations we had been forced to place on curriculum delivery and the reliance on the goodwill of the Village Hall Committee to allow parents to use their car park for the delivery and pick-up of children. We have moments of missing our historic building and confined site... but we enjoy the opportunities offered to us now much more.
No sooner had we installed ourselves, than the Bishop of Dover was here for our grand opening and dedication, the children making use of our new cooking facilities in order to provide our guests with something to enjoy with a cup of tea, and the older pupils leading anyone who was interested on guided tours of every nook and cranny of our new premises.
That opening has of course been followed by adjusting to our new surroundings and raising our expectations even higher. Suddenly events such as the summer fete and May Day, the school production and concerts, could all be held in spaces which we didn't have to hire and which could accommodate all and everyone. Teaching and learning opportunities have expanded due to the gifts of space and better resources.
Each September brings us an increased population as another year group expand from one form to two and our family and community grows. This particular autumn brought us a Diocesan inspection and the judgement on our performance as a Church school was again outstanding, leading to much celebration and a sense of a job being well done.
Now as we move towards the close of the calendar year, Christmas events are crowding in thick and fast, with much singing and acting, cries of "He's behind you!" nd an incredibly well attended festive bazaar. It will end in a few days with a moment of reflection at the school's traditional Carol Service... before we are off agian, embracing a chilly New Year with the warmth that only a proper heating system (at last!) and the children of Tunstall School can bring.
We hope that 2017 will be as successful as 2016 has been (but preferably a little less traumatic, please).